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Nokia Lumia 900 Windows Phone 7.8 upgrade on the way

Nokia's Italian arm has confirmed that the long-awaited Windows Phone 7.8 upgrade, which introduces Windows Phone 8-like features to the company's last-generation smartphone products, will be launching within the next few days.

Originally scheduled for release some time this quarter, the upgrade was announced when Microsoft stated that Windows Phone 7.5 users would not be able to use Windows Phone 8 - news that owners of the at the time recently-released Nokia Lumia handsets were not happy with. Designed to address concerns about longevity, Windows Phone 7.8 brings selected Windows Phone 8 features to older handsets - but it's been a long time coming.

The wait, however, looks to be finally over for Nokia Lumia owners still running Windows Phone 7.5. Responding to a customer query on Twitter, Nokia Italia confirmed that the Windows Phone 7.8 upgrade for its older handsets would be launching within the next couple of days - confirming an earlier claim from Nokia's Spanish division that the release would occur sometime in January.

Earlier this month, a version of the upgrade was uploaded to Nokia's firmware repository but not officially released to handsets. Those who wished to upgrade early found they could manually download and install the upgrade, but Nokia has since removed the files from its repository ahead of the official, formal launch.

Owners of the Nokia Lumia 610, 710, 800 or 900 - all of which use Microsoft's last-generation Windows Phone 7.5 operating system - should keep an eye on their handsets over the next week to receive notification that the upgrade is available.

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